Lustrous Mint State 1803 Ten-Dollar1803 MS 62 NGC. Small Reverse Stars. B. 1-A. As a date, while 1803 eagles are not really rare, they are certainly a much scarcer date than either the 1799 or 1801. When located, the typical 1803 is only XF or AU with strict mint state pieces being unquestioned condition rarities.
It is assumed from the evidence in mint records that the Small Stars eagles were struck sometime in the late summer or early fall of 1803. After gold and silver prices began to climb and soon exceeded the face value of U.S. coins, most were hoarded and later melted. As a result, fewer than 2% of this elusive date are estimated to have survived the melting pots.
This is a wondrously original example of an early eagle. The strike is well brought up, except where the B. 1-A coins are always weak, i.e., on the stars on the left and part of the arrows near the claw. Die clashing is noted on the reverse, rendering a slight "horned eagle" effect. The mint luster is full and covers both sides with a rich orange-gold color. A few very shallow adjustment marks can be seen in the peripheral legends on the reverse, but these do not have any significant impact on the overall appearance or desirability of the coin. There are no large or reportable marks on either side of this special early ten, and we highly recommend this piece to anyone looking for originality and attractive surfaces in an early Heraldic Eagle ten-dollar. (NGC ID# 2628, PCGS# 8565)
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